ICT innovation for public higher education administration efficiency in South Africa : a comparative study
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Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are widely acknowledged in educational administration in this time when information flows freely through satellites and the internet, thus enhancing knowledge dissemination and administrative efficiency. In addition to facilitating educational change and reform via cost-effective technologies, flexible learning, and administrative activities, ICTs are also essential for promoting learning institutions' efficiency. This study was an exploratory descriptive survey to determine the extent of information and communication (ICT) use in the administration of two South African higher education institutions (HEIs) namely Sedibeng TVET College and North West University. In this study, Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation theory was used to determine how institutions were using ICT to improve administrative efficiency in the digital era and factors influencing their adoption of ICT or lack of it. Data collection was conducted using an exploratory sequential mixed-method approach. The researcher first collected and analysed quantitative data, then followed up with qualitative inquiry to confirm the quantitative findings. Research methods included literature review, website analysis, two questionnaires for staff and students, and an interview protocol. Statistical analyses of quantitative data were performed using descriptive statistics, which presented data as frequencies and percentages for easier understanding. For interview data, content analysis was used. In the wake of the Covid-19 outbreak, this study revealed how technology can support uninterrupted learning and teaching. Research findings however, revealed a substantial technological gap between the two study institutions, with the TVET institution displaying limited use of ICT in its information and knowledge management functions in comparison to the university. Study results also showed unequal access to ICT resources among university and TVET students, with the latter group showing greater disadvantage. It is critical to address this digital divide between university students and students at TVET colleges if both institutions are to effectively integrate ICT in their administrative and academic functions. It is imperative to build the ICT capacity of the TVET institution by upgrading its ICT facilities, providing better institutional support regarding resources, and training staff and students effectively. These appear to be major factors affecting successful integration of ICT in both academic and administrative practices at the college. Taking into account the policy implications of the study, higher education institutions need a more defined ICT policy framework governing how they use ICT so that they can thrive within the digitally driven education landscape of the digital age.
- Humanities